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The Best Business Performance Management Software of 2021
Our business performance management software reviews are the result of over 40 hours of research on 170+ business performance management software companies from across the web. These reviews and our business performance management software guide help small businesses and startups find the best business performance management software for their business.
Anaplan is a cloud-based business performance management software tool that uses real-time scenario planning and forecasting to help businesses perform better. The platform is powered by Hyperblock, its proprietary architecture that’s capable of ultra-fast calculations and flexible multidimensional modeling that shows potential, impactful moves organizations can make to improve. Some additional features include:
Comparing and calculating the relationships between connected models and scenarios
Securing on-demand reports and dashboards
Feature-rich analysis based on collaborative insights
Linking multiple forecasts and insights for better decision making
Getting financial and operational insights with the help of scorecards across different business locations
Automated email alerts
Anaplan Data Hub for centralized analysis and planning
With the Anaplan Connect API, users can connect to third-party services, such as Power BI Desktop, DocuSign and Boomi, which has a library of connectors that further extends Anaplan’s capabilities.
BetterWorks is an HR solution that bills itself as a powerful continuous performance management application. It’s built to support organizations that use OKR and S.M.A.R.T, methodologies. Along with continuous feedback in the BetterWork system, these methodologies help managers motivate and recognize employees, while tracking progress towards business growth. Some features include:
Real-time insights into employee performance
Tracking and keeping employees accountable about goal OKRs
Confidentially gather and capture insights into career development
Templates to support HR managers
Scheduling and incorporating peer feedback
BetterWorks integrates with your company’s HRIS for added security and easy data transfer. There’s integration with Slack, which allows for better collaboration and private communications. Other integration options include Outlook and BambooHR.
After the free demo, pricing for the Team Edition is either $8 per user, per month with annual billing or $10 per user, per month with quarterly billing for between five and 250 licenses.
The Solver Suite from Solver Global provides cloud management software for corporations. It’s specifically focused on financial managers and has four modules, Data Warehouse, Planning, Reporting and Dashboards. With the ability to share information between users, all users are able to make better-informed decisions that can bring down operational costs and increase plan implementations. Solver Suite gives a complete view of the organization, and some of its features include:
Designing and reporting templates with a cloud-connected Excel add-in
Automated budgeting and forecasting with real-time approval
Maximized analysis and decision making with direct Power BI integration
Secure centralized data warehouse storage for better collaboration
Automated financial budgets and forecasts based on past data
Real-time reporting process with drill-down
Dashboards that help unify important assets and visualize trends
Along with Power BI, BI360 integrates with leading business applications, such as NetSuite and QuickBooks.
Solver Suite provides a demo upon request, and the monthly cost starts at $312 per user.
Board is an all-in-one business performance management application that also includes business intelligence, simulation and analytics. It manages solutions for various operations within an organization, including marketing and supply chain management for stronger cohesion. Its features include:
Intuitive drag-and-drop interface for self-service analytics and planning
Interactive search functionality that works across screens
Defining logical business rules to model typical processes
A single environment for users to building and running their applications
Creating consistent, personalized access from different environments
Faster calculations thanks to HBMP, Board’s in-memory technology
Allocation models for simulation
Multilayer security for better adaptations
ERP database write-back of outcomes and better system integration
Data Fast Track is Board’s native data discovery tool that’s responsible for automation. It’s able to pick up on potential relationships and create reports that can be customized later by users. Board also has a dedicated SAP connector that’s available upon request for access, and Board Web Services helps the software integrate with certain external applications, including legacy systems. Companies can request a free demo and a quote for the application’s cost.
CCH Tagetik is a corporate performance management platform from Wolters Kluwer that’s built for financial planning, budgeting, consolidation and reporting. It’s an all-in-one cloud-based or on-premises solution that works to optimize performance with powerful agile planning.
It’s useful for helping companies have shorter cycles and for lowering the total cost of ownership, TCO, by making smarter, less risky decisions. CCH Tagetik eliminates the manual repetitive tasks and associated errors that abound when dealing with disparate data sources. Its features include:
Real-time continuous planning with access to granular, in-depth data
Driver-based simulations and built-in automation
What-if analysis for measuring margins and improvement on P&L and cash flow
Better visualization with dynamic scorecards and dashboards
Integration planning for precise projections and KPI assessments
Long- and short-term cash management simulations
With the use of AI and machine learning, CCH Tagetik uses multidimensional modeling to help businesses see and capitalize on possible opportunities within individual departments or their industry. The application has advanced simulations for users to draw from, including heat and geo mapping. The application integrates with SAP, Microsoft and Qlik, and has the ability to connect with other ERP, CRM or source systems.
Pros & Cons
Single environment for reconciliation and simulation
Close Management Software from FloQast is a tool that’s created by and for accounting professionals. It automates accounting workflow and creates more streamlined operations, especially when it comes to improving SOX compliance and shortening close time. FloQast has a number of basic and advanced features, including:
Centralized process documentation for consistency
Automatically roll-forward of necessary documents for auditing compliance
Collaboration, tracking and reviewing of the close
Using historical financial data for identifying trends and improving accountability
Improving workload allocation to reduce bottlenecks and gaps
Detailed reports with real-time insights and realistic scheduling
Close Management has direct ERP integrations with Oracle, SAP and other mainstream applications and supports multiple trial balances. Data is refreshed automatically, and the software provides notifications when balances are off. It also integrates with hundreds of other accounting applications.
There’s a free demo available, and for companies that need a minimum of six licenses, the Business Starter bundle costs $999 per month plus $129 per month for additional users. Corporate Starter costs $1,349 per month, plus $149 for additional users. The Enterprise bundle is ideal for companies with geographically dispersed teams and pricing is by custom quote. All bundles are billed annually.
Corporater is a business management platform that specializes in governance, performance, risk, compliance and GPRC. This integrated solution provides corporations with the opportunity to streamline processes, manage risks and provide visibility for stakeholders. It’s an adaptable platform that can grow with the organization while keeping it accountable at all stages. Some of its features include:
Data dashboards and scorecards that provide contextualized analysis
Complex business rule modeling
Automating budgeting workflow and consolidate financial results
Automatic and manual data collection with access control
Reporting engine that integrates with business modeling layer
Central management of all projects and activities
Creation of project and activity apps for monitoring performance and visualizing expected outcomes
Aligning individual employee goals, targets and timelines for more accountability
Corporater provides the framework for businesses to create their own solutions. The software has more than 250 objects, such as Gantt charts and employee dashboards, that are configurable without coding. The company partnered with Microsoft to integrate Power BI into the software for deeper insights. There’s a free demo available, and pricing is provided by custom quote.
DataRails is a financial planning and analysis (FP&A) solution designed for SMEs that turns manual monthly and quarterly reporting processes into automated ones. The solution allows organizations to move toward working with a cloud-based financial product, all while end-users continue working on their usual Microsoft Excel files as they have up until now.
The solution connects to all organizational systems, including ERP, CRM, and HRIS, as well as complex Excel files, and consolidates all of this data in one cloud-based database. DataRails automates various financial transformations, including FX conversions, eliminations, hierarchies, and financial adjustments.
With DataRails, finance professionals can conduct advanced investigations into their data to extract formerly unattainable insights and enjoy a 360-degree view of all unified organizational data — all while continuing to work in Excel as they’re used to. Upon finishing analyses, finance professionals can share their results with colleagues and management — thanks to an online dashboard or live, interactive charts and tables within PowerPoint that are connected in real-time to databased numbers.
IBM Planning Analytics is an enterprise performance management platform that creates a single repository for a company’s planning data, plans, actuals and other data. It’s proprietary planning solution engine, TM1, is an OLAP in-memory database that aims to help companies plan, forecast and analyze faster to keep up with the numerous changes in digital business transformation. Its key features include:
Customizable web-based interface for performance measuring and monitoring
Viewing KPIs and creating scorecards and dashboards
Integrating data sources into one single source
Real-time data access for more accurate reporting
Collaborating and syncing with team members in different locations
Automated workflow for process visibility and streamlined planning participation
Custom scorecards and automated visualizations to track KPIs
What-if scenarios to see the business impact
Building multidimensional models and using attribute data to conduct analyses
Predictive algorithmic forecasting for greater forecast accuracy
Users can import data into IBM Planning Analytics from Cognos Analytics, SAP, Oracle, and any other data source that is open database connectivity (ODBC)-compliant. There’s a 30-day free trial and, for those who want to continue, pricing starts at $45 per month.
KPI Fire is a strategy execution software that’s geared more toward midsize and larger companies that are focused on creating and supporting a lean culture within companies. Executives come up with strategic goals, which are broken down into smaller goals for each department or unit. They can tackle these objectives with the help of KPI Fire’s Strategy Execution solution. The software’s features include:
Strategic planning methods including Hoshin Kanri and Balanced Scorecard
Idea funnel for aligning goals and prioritizing projects
Real-time updates on teams, departments and projects
Colorful X-Matrix and Bowling Charts to see goal status
Dashboards to show KPIs and actions needed
Idea generator to turning ideas into overall strategy with goals and projects
Create detailed workflows that include timesheets, assignment, and priority
KPI Fire works with Zapier, which allows users to work with hundreds of apps, including SQL and SAP. Companies can also create a KPI Fire setup within Microsoft Teams. A free demo is available and after that, it starts at $19/month billed annually.
How We Chose the Best Business Performance Management Software
With business performance management (BPM) software, organizations have the ability to use proven methods to formulate strategies that improve how their business is managed. When people talk about methodologies, such as Six Sigma or EFQM Excellence modeling, it indicates that the company has data it can process and visualize in ways that drive its decision-making process to grow profits. For many, performance management is a meeting of business intelligence and strategic tools. For the software solution to be considered the best choice to guide a company's performance, there are certain criteria it must meet.
Performance Management Features
Some of the features of the best BPM software solutions help businesses identify key internal function outcomes. This makes data collection and analysis crucial, because they provide the necessary feedback to managers and executives. We looked for solutions with a healthy list of features that facilitate strategic planning, scorecarding and predictive analytics to help organizations see into the future and mitigate damaging risks.
All that must be analyzed needs to come from somewhere. That’s why BPMs that integrate with other ERPs, CRMs or other tools are key. Dedicated connectors that smoothly import structured and unstructured data are essential components for performance management software.
Reporting used to be about graphs and tables. While these are still important, being able to drill down and get to the heart of what you see is why some performance management tools outshine others. In addition, the ability to segment reports by organizational roles ensures that the right insight is put in the hands of the people who can use it to take action.
What Is Business Performance Management Software?
Also called corporate or enterprise performance management, business performance management software is a tool that uses metrics, methodologies, processes and systems to track and manage an organization’s continuous growth. It’s able to translate all of the structured and unstructured data and create complex analyses that give teams insight into potential outcomes and opportunities.
Popular types of performance management software include:
EIS: This is the executive information system that provides a visualized account of the organization’s overall performance.
On-premises: This software is deployed at the business site and can be further tailored to suit its needs
Packaged: This type of BPM software gives a good 360-degree view of the business operations. It measures metrics to improve the company’s financial standing, accountability and operational efficiency.
Cloud-based: These options are easier to deploy and typically cost less than on-premises solutions.
BPM Versus BI
The term “business intelligence,” or “BI,” is often used interchangeably with business performance management software, so it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Business intelligence software gathers disparate data and organizes it in reports and dashboards. That output is what allows BPM software users to create comparisons with other types of data, such as financial and strategic movement. Then, corporations are able to visualize how certain performances affect the company’s overall health, and what they can do to shift and hit strategic goals.
BPM software uses BI data to better plan, control and manage KPIs to meet overall objectives, making it far more complex and a stronger source of information.
Benefits of Business Performance Management Software
Using business performance management software allows an organization to gather trustworthy data and make sound decisions and plans. Cleaning up the data that comes from several sources and trying to weed out duplicates is an intensive process if you don’t have the right business performance management software in place. Here are some additional benefits to consider:
Timely and accurate information: BPM software allows executives and managers to use up-to-date and accurate information infused with meaningful metrics. This provides a solid basis for future decision making.
Streamlined process automation: Manually cleaning up data takes a lot of work, and this cuts into productivity. Implementing the right business performance management application creates more streamlined, automated workflows that are all about reducing human error and freeing up valuable time.
Greater financial visibility: With an idea of how much money is associated with operations, the finance team has the data it needs to create models for more accurate forecasts.
Increased control and decreased operational risk: Security comes from having your data in one centralized location with specific permissions and integrations. With that system in place, stakeholders are more likely to trust the information, and it’s easier to get buy-ins when needed.
Must-Have Features of Business Performance Management Software
The purpose of BPM is to support an organization’s planning and analysis. Some of the key features it needs are:
Planning and forecasting: With the ability to plan and forecast based on reliable data you’re able to create goals that align with what’s happening in your company and industry.
Reporting and analytics: Top-notch enterprise business performance management software integrates financial reporting and visualizations and includes customized dashboards that reflect key KPIs.
Workflow and process management: Managing workflows and real-time updates for different divisions and units.
Easy-to-use interface: All software has a learning curve, but the length and stiffness of that curve depends on how easy the interface is to use. BPM software should offer easy navigation and intuitive layouts that don’t make users guess.
Integration: The software should provide seamless functionality that integrates vital functions and data sources into the system so it’s all in one secure place.
The Cost of Business Performance Management Software
Most business performance management software solutions use a tiered plan that specifies a monthly cost per user license. Pricing varies, and starts at less than $10 per user, per month. Some vendors charge a flat fee for a certain number of user licenses per month. In those cases, providers may charge a fee per additional individual license after that minimum, or they may charge you a little less for another similar block of licenses. For those that are read-only, the cost is generally cheaper. With some BPM solutions, you have to request a custom quote.
On top of any monthly charges, be prepared to pay implementation fees that range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars.